HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark (L15) is able to flex her amphibious muscle to respond quickly to any crisis and world events.

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Following HMS Bulwark’s hugely successful contribution to the Gallipoli Centenary Commemorations in Turkey in April the ship was directed by the Prime Minister to contribute to the developing humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean.

Codenamed Operation Weald, working in concert with the Italian Navy and 3 Merlin helicopters from 814 Squadron, HMS Bulwark successfully rescued over 4000 people from their dangerously overcrowded boats in the waters between Libya and Southern Europe

Having now returned to her home port of Devonport, HMS Bulwark is making preparations for her upcoming Cougar 15 deployment in the Autumn.

Naval Reservist returns from rescuing migrants in the Med

Naval Reservist returns from rescuing migrants in the Med


HMS Bulwark Latest News

Bulwark home from migrant rescue

HMS Bulwark home from Mediterranean search and rescue mission

Save the Children Thanks HMS Bulwark

Save the Children Thanks HMS Bulwark

See all news for HMS Bulwark

Current operation Maritime Security

British ships and units are committed to operations in the Mediterranean. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability as well as providing humanitarian assistance as required.

  • Cougar 14

    Cougar is an amphibious task force exercising in the Mediterranean.

  • Cougar 13

    Cougar is an amphibious task force exercising in the Mediterranean.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Providing humanitarian assistance

When natural or man-made disasters occur, a country’s infrastructure and resources can be crippled. With loss of electricity, shortage of food and water supplies, and human lives at risk – responding to such life-threatening scenarios is central to the Royal Navy’s ethos. Because we have the skills, equipment and know-how to go anywhere, regardless of potential damage to local infrastructure.

Location Mediterranean

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Unit History

The First Bulwark1777

The current assault ship is the seventh RN warship to bear the name in a history that stretches back to 1777 but despite her naming, the keel was never laid and she was later cancelled.

The Second Bulwark1807

The second Bulwark made it through build and was launched in April 1807, and served for almost two decades, seeing service in the American War of 1814-15. She was broken up in 1825.

The Third Bulwark1859

The next Bulwark suffered a similar fate to the first – laid down in 1859, her build was put on hold, and she lay dry until being dismantled in 1872.

The Fourth Bulwark1860

The fourth, a wooden first-rate 121-gun battleship, made it to launch in 1860, notched up her steam trials in 1861, but was never completed for sea.

The Fifth Bulwark1899

The fifth, a 15,000-ton twin-screw battleship, was launched at Devonport in 1899, and claims the Antarctic explorer Capt Robert Falcon Scott as one of her commanding officers.


She also suffered an ill-fated end off Sheerness in November 1914 – while loading on ammunition an internal explosion tore the heart of the ship apart, killing all but 12 of the 750 ship’s company.

The Sixth Bulwark1948

The 22,000-ton light fleet carrier, launched in June 1948, was the last holder of the name. She saw service in the Suez Crisis before being modified to a pure helicopter commando carrier in 1959.

The Rusty B1976

She retired in 1976 , but returned in 1979 as an anti-submarine warfare carrier – living up to her nickname 'The Rusty B', drawn from her motto 'Under thy wings I will (t)rust'.

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Commanding Officer Nick Cooke-Priest

Commander Nick Cooke-Priest

Rank: Captain

Commander Nick Cooke Priest joined the Royal Navy in November 1990. He took command of HMS Bulwark on the 20th January 2015.

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HMS Bulwark can carry 256 troops, with their vehicles and combat supplies.

HMNB Devonport

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